Date: April 6, 2021
Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – After the suicide bomb attack at the Catholic cathedral in Makassar on Palm Sunday, Indonesia has increased security for churches around the country. Heavily armed police and military personnel were seen at churches during Easter celebrations.
In recent years, the rise of radicalism in Indonesia has resulted in several terrorist attacks against churches and the law enforcement. The IS-linked Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) is behind most of these attacks, including the recent one in Makassar that injured 20.
A former JAD member told Al Jazeera, “Simply put, the JAD ideology means you supported Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and pledge to carry out all directions from ISIS leaders. You are taught to be hostile to infidels and all rulers who do not want to apply Islamic law. According to ISIS, this is the perfect religion.”
He added, “The attack on the church in Makassar followed a similar pattern to the church attacks in Surabaya in 2018. When I was a member of JAD, I was also ordered to carry out surveillance on a temple in Surabaya and plan an attack there. However, there were too many obstacles to the plan so it fell through. Places of worship have become JAD’s favorite target because they are weakly guarded and there is greater likelihood of mass casualties as opposed to police or military targets.”
On April 1, Brigadier General Pol Rusdi Hartono from the National Police Headquarters said that police across the country were ordered to anticipate the possibility of terrorist attacks on churches during Easter celebrations. Most churches, if not all, had either police or security guard stationed to provide protection.
Although Indonesia was able to enjoy a peaceful Easter, Christians are not letting their guard down, since JAD might still retaliate against the government for the arrests of its members. As Ramadan approaches, radicalized Muslims could also seize the moment to attack the “infidels.”
HOW TO PRAY: We thank God that Indonesia was able to enjoy a peaceful Easter, but Christians are not letting their guard down, since JAD might still retaliate against the government for the arrests of its members. As Ramadan approaches, please pray for the radicalized Muslims who could also seize the moment to attack the “infidels.”